Wednesday, April 12, 2017


FMU @ 15800 NW 42nd Ave, Miami Gardens


0 Seats


4 Discussion Sessions

One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum / Where are we, and where do we want to be?

On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Commissioner Jean Monestime, in collaboration with his colleagues of the Miami-Dade County Commission, Commissioners Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan, and Dennis Moss, along with Mayor Oliver Gilbert of the City of Miami Gardens and key stakeholder organizations in the Black community are convening a second State of Black Miami community conversation and assessment of Black Miami’s state of economic prosperity, community development, and our next generation.

The goal of the 2017 One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum is to collectively pursue recommended ideas, initiatives, and legislation items that address the progress of Black Miami. The Summit will also promote the cultural theme of One Heritage and inclusiveness within all of Black Miami.

The inaugural One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum was hosted in 2016 and initiated this important community dialogue. For more information, contact Commissioner Monestime’s office at (305) 694-2779.


Commissioner's Message / The vision

Forum Schedule / A must attend!

Welcome Address & Breakfast

Doors open at 8:30am for registration. Mayor Oliver Gilbert will provide greetings on behalf of the City of Miami Gardens as well as remarks from Florida Memorial University as the convener of the day long forum. Commissioner Jean Monestime will set the tone and agenda for the day's discussion and share his vision for what he aspires the State of Black Miami to be. Carlos Migoya, President & CEO of Jackson Health Systems will provide remarks as the breakfast sponsor.

Session 1 – Youth: The Next Generation

Tackling the challenges. Amplifying the opportunities.
Black youth under the age of 25 are estimated to be over 30% of the total Black population in Miami. This session focuses on issues of how to address the challenges impacting youth (under 18) and how to enhance the opportunities for youth to grow into a life of meaning. Core topics include: education, job and internships, mentoring, crime and policing, and community engagement.

Moderator: Dr. Shirley Plantin - Director, Miami-Dade Community Relations Board

  • Morris Copeland - Director, Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Paul Wilson - 5000 Role Model of Excellence/Miami Dade County Public Schools
  • Thema Campbell - President & CEO, Girl Power
  • Nicole Collins - Student Government Association President, Florida Memorial University

Session 2: Community Development

Bring back the good old days. Vibrant Streets. Self sufficiency.
How do we strengthen our communities to be more vibrant and sustainable? The focus of this session is on the physical infrastructure and environment within the Black communities.

Core topics include:
  • Transportation & mobility: The connectivity of Black Miami neighborhoods to the region’s major centers for commerce, employment and culture.
  • Environment & sustainability: How sea-level rise affects the Black communities and increasing access to green spaces.
  • Housing: Housing affordability that accommodates the diversity of income-levels – from low-income to professionals – so that we create a local environment for live, work, and play.
  • Commerce: Facilitating greater ownership of residential and commercial real estate, and promoting Black Miami to investors who respect the culture.

Moderator: Barron Channer - Bach Real Estate

  • Daniella Pierre - Chair, NAACP Housing
  • Commissioner Dennis C. Moss - Miami-Dade County, District 9
  • Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert - City of Miami Gardens

Lunch Chat: Bridging the Generational Gap

Collaborate more. Hate less. Share the prize.
The Progressives and the Old Guards - why can't we just work together? The focus of this lunch chat is to explore practical ways to facilitate more and better collaboration and approaches to reduce competition or disengagement across the generations - young professionals and elders.

Core topics include:
  • Community: Fostering meaningful collaboration between legacy organizations and young professionals and bridging the gap between those in the suites and those in streets.
  • Business: Creating better collaborations between the elders and young professionals for the pursuit of business opportunities.

Moderator: Jill Tracey - Hot 105

  • Gepsie Metellus - Executive Director, Sant La Neighborhood Center
  • Erica Knowles - Editor, Invest Miami
  • Carol Ann Taylor - CEO, Cultures to Go
  • Valencia Gunder - Founder, Make the Homeless Smile Miami
  • John Bowdre - The Global Citizens Community

Session 4: Economic Prosperity & Black Wealth

Let us play. Call a fair game. Show us the money.
It's clear that there's huge disparities in business, economic achievement, and community success. How do we fight for fair game and prosper as an entire community? The focus of is this session on wealth creation - business opportunities and employment.

Core topics include:
  • Employment: Creating more access to jobs with leading industries and companies, supporting entrepreneurship in our community, ensuring equal pay for Black Miami, and expanding training opportunities for high-demand, well-paying jobs.
  • Business Opportunities: Addressing disparities in access to government contracts, attracting the private sector to do more business with Black Miami companies, and expanding access to capital and technical capacity development.

Moderator: Beatrice Louissant - President & CEO, Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council

  • Ernisha Randolph - CEO, Juanita's Kitchen & President, Young Professionals Network of Miami
  • Leigh-Ann Buchanan - Executive Director, Venture Cafe
  • Darryl Holsendolph - CEO, Holsen Inc.
  • Rhonda Vangates - Miami Dade County Public Schools
  • Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan - Miami-Dade County, District 1


In the wrap session, the Forum will recap all realistic and practical recommendations for legislative and/or private sector implementation with the assistance of the Office of the Chair, the Miami-Dade County Commission, the City of Miami, and other stakeholder organizations. The session will identify specific responsible persons and/or entities and a timeline for deliberate action.

Event Partners / A community event

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS / What is the State of Black Miami to you?


Event FAQS / Find your answers

The purpose of the One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum is to convene the entire Black community to look at our challenges and accomplishments through a common lens. Following this discussion, Miami-Dade's leaders can help to unleash the potential of Black population with proactive efforts to pursue policies and actions that are equitable and inclusive. The objective of the Forum is to also celebrate oneness of community heritage and unite the entire Black diaspora whether African-American or of Caribbean and/or Afro-Hispanic heritage. As Miami continues to evolve as a world class region, a shared prosperity is vital for all of Miami-Dade County including for communities of color, which is what the Forum intends to address.  
The One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum is open to the entire community and will reflect the richness of the Black community to include the African-American community, Caribbean diaspora, as well as Afro-Hispanics. A number of organizations representing various segments of our community will also be participating in this important discussion.
The day-long forum will discuss and assess Black Miami's state of economic prosperity, community development, and quality of life with topics centered around procurement, infrastructure, economic activity, criminal justice reform and policing, education, and housing.

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